Social Security Number: A Key Factor in Identity Theft
This is an all too familiar story. One unexpected day, Laura received an alert from her credit card company that made her instantly anxious. It stated that she was 30 days late on her payment. However, Laura knew that she had closed this particular credit card a few months back. How could she be late on a payment if the card was closed with a zero balance?
Laura called the credit card company to discover that the card was being used fraudulently by someone claiming her identity. What’s worse, even after she cleared the matter up with the credit card company, she learned that the identity theft had damaged her credit score by 65 points. Sadly, this kind of thing happens every day to people who pay their debts on time.
From 1999 to 2010, identity theft was the biggest consumer complaint on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) annual list. This means that as a society we understand the scope of the problem and probably by now know someone close to us (if not ourselves personally) who has fallen victim to identity theft. However, did you know that identity theft can also hurt your credit score?
Social Security Number (SSN) and Identity Theft
Your social security number is the master key through which a stranger can access your personal data. A scammer can use your social security number, driver’s license or financial account information to wreak havoc on the health of your financial life.
Effect on Your Credit Score
When someone gets access to your SSN, they can take a loan in your name. You might not know that an identity thief is working against you until you get a notice from your bank. Every time the scammer gets a loan using your personal information, it will be recorded on your credit report. This can have a negative impact on your credit score. Such incidents can lower your credit score significantly. You may be turned down for an employment opportunity or have to pay higher interest rates as a result of a low credit score.
By the time you understand the situation, you are often in a crisis situation. You need your good credit score, but it has been damaged. A quick tip is to check your credit score regularly to make sure you are in good standing before you need it. If you notice any negative changes to your score, contact one of our experts at RepairMyCreditNow (RMCN) today. We can help.
For more information on how credit scores are calculated, visit here: http://www.repairmycreditnow.com/Credit_scores.htm
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